2 Jumping Into Race For Mayor Of East Ridge

Friday, May 23, 2014

Two potential contenders for mayor of East Ridge were at the Election Office on Friday - the first day for picking up petitions.

Vice Mayor Jim Bethune is seeking to step up to the top post.

Frances Pope, longtime citizen activist, said she plans to run also.

She said Counciilman Larry Sewell is backing her.

Three seats are up for grabs in East Ridge in the November election. They include the Bethune and Sewell council seats and mayor. Brent Lambert, who lost a race for County Commission, is the current mayor.

Other council members are Denny Manning and Marc Gravitt. Mr. Gravitt was unopposed to succeed Vince Dean in the state House.

Also picking up papers for the East Ridge Council were Robert Stahl, Jacky Cagle, Robert Bedwell, Doris Rogers, John Clemmer and Brian White, who ran for Criminal Court clerk in the Democratic primary.

Ms. Pope said, "For the last seven to eight years I have been an advocate for the citizens of East Ridge.   I have brought to light issues and questions on policy and spending.   My goal has always been to have consistent open, honest, responsible government in East Ridge. That will continue to be my goal as I seek office and I serve in the position of mayor. 

"Transparency is not only good practice, but required by law.  Government business is to be done in a manner that any and every citizen has the opportunity to know exactly how tax dollars are being spent and what policies and laws are being passed and why.  I want to continue to be a voice for citizens, because that is what I am, a citizen. 

"Serving in the position of mayor will not change who I am or my goal East Ridge, but it will give me the opportunity to help insure that every citizen has a voice and the opportunity to easily access any information that they want to know about their local government.  My focus on finances has always been very conservative, do we spend money because we need to or simply because the money is there and we want to spend it. 

"As mayor I will have the ability to not only question spending, as I have done for several years as a citizen, but to also have a vote." 

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